Geek Stuff

Perfect Fail

Along with the barn burning mayhem the lightning caused some trouble with the devices in the house too. Once I got the cable and internet back up it was time to give the PC a tune up. The first order of business was a backup so I created an image of the hard drive and went to bed as it ran.

The backup completed but when I went to turn the machine on the next day there was a loud clunking coming from the hard drive. I thought I had heard drive failure before, but nothing like this – it was like someone was tapping a screwdriver on a metal box. The good news was that I had a second hard drive in the machine for backups (a simple and inexpensive trick I highly recommend), so I went to the local best buy to get an enclosure, burned the image, and we were back in business without losing a beat.

The thing that kills me are the odds of a total drive failure 8 hours after doing a backup. The hard drive has a good 7 years of duty on it, yet allowed one final backup before giving up the ghost. If you haven’t done a backup lately, please do. Remember that there are only 2 kinds of people – those who have been through a catastrophic data loss, and those who will.

As an afterword, Staples has a 250GB “Marshmallow” drive that is USB powered, and a bit bigger than a deck of cards for only $99. You’ll thank me later.

One reply on “Perfect Fail”

I’ve read that the average hard drive lasts less than 5 years so it looks like you escaped unscathed! That knocking you heard was the arm of the drive bouncing off the casing, so it was probably just a hardware failure. In this case, you could have taken your harddrive and had the data removed from it. There are a number of companies who do this and it’s actually pretty reasonable.

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